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16and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good.

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16. Who fed thee in the wilderness. He had said that water was brought forth from the rock of flint when the people were suffering from thirst; now, he adds that they had manna instead of bread; as if he had said that when meat and drink failed them they must have perished of want unless God had preternaturally given them both, causing the hard rock to flow down in water, and sending bread from heaven. Moreover he repeats what he had said before, that the people were afflicted with this need as a trial of their faith and patience; yet in this trial both their incredulity and intemperance were discovered, whilst God’s goodness and power were eventually more clearly displayed, since He pardoned their ingratitude, and, notwithstanding it, aided their necessity. For if they had not suffered from hunger, God’s bounty in supplying them with their daily food would have been neglectfully received. This is the meaning of the conclusion, “to do thee good at thy latter end.” From which words let us also learn that we are often deprived of our necessary supplies, in order that our senses may awaken to acknowledge God’s aid which appears in our extremity. For whilst abundance covers our eyes with a veil, or dims their sight, so, on the other hand, deprivation and want purge and remove this dimness that we may more clearly perceive the benefits afforded us by God.




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